What is negligence?
Hi! It’s been a long day, but I’m happy to be back and talking about…negligence. Last time we talked about a controls baseline, and how it’s reasonable for you to make some rules. You can require that people wash their hands, you can require that people do other basic security things, and enforce consequences when those rules aren’t followed.
But if you think about the idea of negligence - what does that mean?
Initially you might instinctively think - at least I do - that negligence means not doing something that you are are supposed to do. Not following the rules.
But could you be negligenct while you are following the rules? The answer is yes.
Duty of Care
If you look into the concept of negligence, in the US legal system before negligence can be claimed, you must first establish a duty of care.
Duty of care is a really interesting concept. Without getting too much into the details, it’s a much more vague, and meaningful, and important idea than following the rules.
The duty of care means “do a good job”.
I want to leave you with a couple of questions that we’ll talk about next time:
- Would it be negligent to leave some servers unpatched?
- Would it be negligent to let someone sit in the emergency room waiting area for a whole hour, bleeding from a chainsaw accident?
If you diverged from the rules, if you decided I’m not going to follow the rules today, could you actually be doing a good job and avoiding a charge of negligence?
The answer might be surprising. I’ll give you a hint: next time we’ll talk about triage.